"Children's Ward 16/7"

About: Leighton Hospital

My son was referred by his GP for an infection around his eye. He was taken to Ward 16 and then moved to 17. He's only 9 and was very frightened. The staff were excellent and took time to put him at ease, talk to him, etc. He ended up staying 4 days and he commented to me how nice and friendly everyone was and how well he'd been looked after - he did have a playstation, TV, CD player, electric bed, etc. and was living it up like Lord Muck - he didn't want to come home! And he loved the food too! From a parent's perspective, I'd largely agree - the staff were friendly and caring. At one point a nurse who had looked after him on one day was moved to another bay on her next shift - thinking about continuity of carer here may help, especially with children building trust. Also, I stayed with him for 3 nights. What an experience that was and thank goodness for my ear plugs! Why is it that the chair beds in these wards are so uncomfortable? Can some money be spent on replacing these for comfier more up to date models? Even if you charged parents a nominal fee perhaps or asked for a contribution/donation towards replacement costs, I'm sure most parents would gladly pay £1 a night even if they had something comfier to sleep on. It was at times confusing as to how long he would be in, and initially they said 2-3 days, then 5 then he went home at 4. There didn't seem to be good communication between departments - for instance ophthalmology wouldn't take a referral for him from the ward over the phone but insisted it be faxed - not helpful, whereas we believe ENT would...? Why are different departments running with different referral systems? We bought a 7-day car park pass which saved us a fortune, so that was a good point. Overall we were pleased with his care and the outcome, and thank the staff on ward 17 for their excellent care in particular.

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Response from Leighton Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to comment on the care that both you and your son received whilst staying on the Child and Adolescent Unit (CAU). The staff on CAU work hard to ensure that all patients and visitors are put at ease especially through the difficult time of a child being unwell, and are pleased when everything goes as planned. We aim to ensure continuity of care where possible. CAU are waiting to be refurbished and the beds for relatives will be addressed during this process. I will look at the issues you have raised in relation to communication with specialties that are not based on the unit to see how this may be improved Many thanks for your comments Andrea Collins, Ward Manager, Child and Adolescent Unit.

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